OFW Dondon Lanuza
OFW Dondon Lanuza

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia-An overseas Filipino worker (OFW), who has been incarcerated in Saudi Arabia jail since 2000 for unintentional death of a Saudi national, endorses a party-list group that represents the OFW sector vying for a seat in Philippine Congress on May 13, 2013 mid-term elections via party-list system.

On 21st March 2013, Rodelio ‘Dondon’ Lanuza, now 38 years old, from his detention cell at Dammam Central Jail in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, sent to Filipino community leaders via electronic mail a short message endorsing Migrante for party-list.

A copy of the same email was also sent to Saudi-based Migrante-Middle East (M-ME) regional coordinator John Leonard Monterona, also Vice chairperson of Migrante Sectoral Party of OFWs and Families.

On his email, Lanuza said, “The Migrante Middle East through its representative John Monterona, was the key instrument for driving my case to the government’s attention that have inspired me to no end to be alive. Thank you for your tireless efforts on helping and fighting for the rights of our fellow OFWs.”

“Dondon Lanuza po, muling nangangatok sa inyong mga puso. Sa darating na halalan sa May 2013, suportahan po natin ang Migrante no. 96 sa balota para Kongreso (Dondon Lanuza again knocking on your hearts. This coming May 13, 2013, let’s support Migrante no.96 in the ballot for Congress),” he added.

Lanuza explained, “Migrante ang karadapat-dapat maupo sa pwesto upang patuloy na mapangalagaan ang kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan, matugunan ang kanilang mga pangangailangan, mabigyan ng proteksyon ang ating mga karapatan at upang maging malakas ang ating boses sa kongreso.”

On his part, Monterona cordially acknowledges Lanuza’s endorsement.

“We in Migrante along with our supporters are happy to read Dondon’s open endorsement. We certainly need endorsement and supports from our fellow OFWs not only from those we have assisted in the Middle East but also from OFWs around the world and from their families in the Philippines,” said Monterona.

Monterona, however, clarified that though they are expecting good news soon for Lanuza’s eventual release, his group is still closely following Lanuza’s case.

“We have received information from reliable source that the Saudi King’s donation for Lanuza’s blood money was already sent to the aggrieved Saudi family through the Saudi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We are waiting for the confirmation from the aggrieved family. Only then we can expect them to issue an Affidavit of Forgiveness and waiver of Execution in the Court,” Monterona added.

Monterona calls on Philippine Ambassador to Riyadh Ezzadin Tago to closely follow up this matter until Lanuza is released.

Meanwhile, two new chapters of Migrante  were formed last week and the previous week, respectively, according to Monterona.

On March 15, Migrante chapter in Rabigh, 88km away at northern part of Jeddah, was formed after elections of its officers, while on March 21, a chapter was also formed in Taif, 200km away at southern part of Jeddah.

“Our fellow OFWs working and leaving outside Saudi cities of Jeddah, Riyadh, Al-Khobar are calling and inviting us to visit and assist them to have their groups formed and all wanted to be affiliated with Migrante,” Monterona concluded.(PR)